A dog walker and someone crossing the tracks with a shopping trolley are just two of the trespass incidents reported to Network Rail since the coronavirus lockdown began.
Since the 23rd March, when the lockdown was announced, 70 incidents across the Wessex route has been reported to Network Rail; this covers Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and Dorset.
Nationally, there have been more than 1,000 trespass incidents since lockdown was announced (more on that story by clicking here).
Trespassing is illegal, and when Network Rail is notified of trespassers, all trains in the area are stopped to make sure that everyone is kept safe.
Some of the incidents on the Wessex Route include someone sitting on the platform and dangling their legs over the track in South West London, and in North Surrey, a male was reported as he crossed the tracks with a shopping trolley. A female was also said to be trespassing on the tracks looking for her dog.
Mark Killick, route director at Network Rail Wessex, said: “Trespassing on the railway is dangerous and can have tragic results as we are still seeing a worrying number of trespassers on our tracks. We need the public to stay safe, stay off the railway and never use it as a short cut. The conductor rail carries 750 volts of electricity on most of our routes and is always live; if you are struck by a train or receive an electric shock, this could result in life-changing injuries or even death.”
Inspector Andy Jackson from the British Transport Police who is embedded on the Wessex route, said: “These incidents clearly highlight the widespread impact when someone trespasses on the railway. At this difficult time, it is imperative that people using the rail network are able to do so without causing inconvenience to other rail users, those involved also place themselves in considerable danger by their acts. This is a further plea to people not to trespass on the railway network for any reason as the British Transport Police will actively pursue and take positive action against those who fail to comply with this simple instruction.”
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